Writing can go through seasons—some seasons are hot and fast, filled with fireworks, while others are cold and sluggish, like a Sunday morning in December.
After one of those cold, unproductive seasons, getting back to our computers to do some fiction writing can feel like a sun-kissed reward for having survived all those lost gloves and muddied boots. Or it may feel like we’re sneaking away for a secret rendezvous with our neglected and forlorn laptop. (“There you are, my precious, with your sexy little san-serif keycaps, your dusty screen that opens a window into my fictional world, your glowing power button that looks so happy to be lit up…”)
Either way, it may still be hard to get those creative juices flowing again.
If you’re feeling a bit rusty or you have a healthy colony of spiders weaving cobwebs in your brain, it may be a good time to find a quick writing exercise to get the blood coursing back into that frontal cortex.
Approximately one gazillion books and websites out there have tons of writing exercises for you to tackle. I even post a new one twice a month on my home page you can try.
But if you’re not in the mood to go hunting, here’s a fun exercise for you to tackle right now:
Brainstorm 10 unusual ways to get thrown out of a bar
Challenge accepted? I’ll get you started with my 10. Add to my list in the Comments section!
- Walk around the bar and pick up a drink at every table, take a sip, then put it back.
- Steal the microphone from the band and start singing “Copa Cabana” no matter what the band is playing.
- Climb on the table and start spray painting the Mona Lisa on the ceiling. (If you can’t reach the ceiling, paint the nearest drunk instead.)
- Stick a pillow under your shirt, run out onto the dance floor, and yell “I’m going to give birth RIGHT NOW!” (Bonus points if you’re a man.)
- Climb over the bar, grab a shaker and start mixing fancy drinks involving lots of olives and maraschino cherries IN THE SAME DRINK.
- Sneak behind the bar, grab all of their umbrellas, then hand them out to all the patrons, saying, “Trust me, you’ll need this for the bumble bees.”
- Order three glasses of ice, then throw the ice cubes on the dance floor and start making snow angels in it.
- Do your best to convince everyone around you that you’re from the future and the only thing that will save the world is if everyone starts oinking like a pig.
- Work your way into the crowd, then point at the floor and jump like you’re startled, yelling, “Did you see that? A baby raccoon!” Then point like you’re watching it run through the crowd. A few minutes later, do it again. And again.
- Loudly demand to know what the bartenders did with the aliens: are they still in the basement, or did the bartenders sell them to the government already?
I’m already starting to see one of my characters perk up his ears at this list. There just might be an awkward bar scene brewing in the back of my mind for a future chapter. How about you? Are your characters getting a mite thirsty?